Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly Bulletin of The Sydney Bush Walker, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms “Northcote Building,” Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476 G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
No. 339. March, 1963. Price 1/-.
|Editor||Stuart Brooks, 5 Ingalara Rd, Wahroonga. 484343.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales and Subs.||Lola Wedlock|
|Typed by||Shirley Dean|
In This Issue:
|At Our February Meeting||A. Colley||3|
|Letters to the Editor from Ancient Committeeman, Taro, Anxious Eastwood Mother, A.G. Colley||5|
|1963 Annual Swimming Carnival||7|
|I'm a Legend in My Lifetime||E. Biddulph||8|
|The Kosciusko Primitive Area||Manhole||10|
|The Life and Hard Times of Brian G.||W. Gillam||14|
The song of a swan is a sad, sad song.
The 'American' Negros, deprived forever of their verdant veldts gave theirs to future generations in palpitating, eight-to-the-bar blues. Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, Chips Rafferty - these have all had their turn and now, I find, it's mine.
You, oh astute reader, will feel compelled to remark that this is not necessarily so. Statistics, and more particularly those of bushwalkers, indicate a reluctance for change in the status quo. In fact, you will go on to point out, editors usually resign, albeit as subtly and graciously as the situation permits.
These, however, are small crumbs of comfort on the editorial plate.
Though, by tradition, the Brooks from way back have been resigned by nature, they seldom remove themselves voluntarily. There is many a host and proprietor who rues this family failing.
But, with all this, there is a residual element of doubt, and, come what may, a swan-song in March is as appropriate and necessary as a does of sulphaguanadine after a trip down Kedumba Creek.
Nostalgically, one must confess that the lot of editor is not all sack cloth and ashes. In these pages, one can cry, cajole, coherce and criticise without causing comment (well, more or less). At home, I would either have to wait my turn, or be told to go and feed the cat. At work, such behaviour would evoke a coldly critical recitation of the appropriate instruction regarding tacit and unquestioning co-operation with top management. These pages therefore afford a safety valve for those normal repressions which are, for editors in particular, slightly accentuated by the cares of office.
Preparations for departure would not be complete without some indication of gratitude to those who strew the editor's path with rose petals - to the various contributors of articles (may their tribe increase), to Dave Ingram for his punctual and informative notes on Day Walks and the Federation Report (we are looking for a stand-in for Dave, by the way), to Alex Colley whose accurate and attractive accounts of General Meetings turn up at my place with the same regularity as the milk bill, and to the girls who, though perhaps not silently, produce the not inconsiderable effort required to type, duplicate, assemble and sell.
Win, lose or draw, I am pleased to have had a part in whipping along the tired old horse for another year.
W.L.P.S. - Annual General Meeting.
The annual general meeting of the Wild Life Preservation Society will be held on Monday, March l8, in the New Education Fellowship Room, 263 Castlereagh Street, Sydney at 7.45 p.m. After the general business there will be an address by Mr. F. Hersey of the Fauna Protection Panel on “Aspects of Wild Life Conservation in N.S.W.” Wild types especially welcome.
At Our February Meeting.
One new member, Peter Rempt, was welcomed by the President at the start of the meeting.
From correspondence we learned that the route to Tuglow Caves through Jack Denis' farm was now closed (due to the behaviour of many of the people who used it). However it is possible to drive even closer to the Caves by going 8 miles along a new fire trail, and so a walk is saved. Also in correspondence was a letter of thanks from the Boy Scout's Association for assistance in rescuing the two scouts in Arethusa Canyon; and a letter from the Water Board re walking in the Warragamba catchment. For some areas a permit from the Board is necessary, but for others a badge of membership of a bushwalking Club or a certificate of membership would be sufficient. Of interest to gardeners was a copy of “Living Earth” describing a means of dealing with oxalis.
From the Social Secretary's report we learned that the hall for the Christmas Party had been successfully booked for Friday December 13.
Committee reported that it had considered the subscription rate for posted Club Magazines, and was of the opinion that it should remain at 15/-. The opinion of the meeting was sought and the Committee's view was supported without dissent.
The President then awarded prizes to Kevin Ardill, whose team won the car trial, and to Peter Reynolds and John Milligan, who came second.
In his walks report Wilf Hilder told us that on January 6, Elaine Metcalf took 6 members and 1 prospective from Lilyvale to Burning Palms, Era and Garie. Although the track was still waterlogged after recent rains, the weather was mild and the swimming at Era good. On January 11, 12 and 13, Wilf led 3 members along the 4 1/2 miles of granite gorges above Megalong Creek. There were good swimming pools, but it was a long walk as it started from Shipley and went right back to Katoomba. On 18, 19 and 20th Wilf led a track clearing weekend (1 starter) to blaze Starlight's trail on the Nattai River. Several by-passes were cut out of the track and paint blazing used to mark the track in difficult places. Eight members, 5 prospectives and 3 visitors attended the instructional weekend at O'Hare's Creek on weekend 18-20th, led by Bob Godfrey and Roy Craggs. On Sunday 9 members and 3 prospectives led by Frank Leyden joined the party and Frank demonstrated the Colin Putt method of waterproofing packs, also the Hall-Pelham method and the Paddy Pallin inflatable cushion method. Frank's walk on the next, long, weekend was an aquatic and gastronomic success. The weather was fine and hot, the water clear and cool, and there blackberries, oranges, lemons, quinces and peaches for those with energy to reach out and pick them. On the same weekend Alan Round lead two members from Tolwong Road to the Ettrema, Jones' Creek and Edwards Falls. Apache Creek was explored and an impassable waterfall discovered. Wilf took a party of nine down the Kowmung from the Boss Mountain fire trail through the granite section and up Misery Ridge. Frank Leyden's hidden campsite below the Morong Creek Cascade was located and used. A 2ft fresh added to the interest of the swims. It also took one member over an 8ft waterfall, but he came up again.
At the end of the meeting it was announced that the Water Board gate on the road to Lake Eckersley would be open for those driving to the swimming carnival. Thus another walk was saved.
Extracts From Letter To Federation From Metropolitan Water Board.
Bushwalking Restrictions in the Warragamba Catchment Area.
“The Board now requires that all persons wishing to bushwalk within the proclaimed Warragamba Catchment Area outside the two mile zone from the top level of the stored water (within which access is prohibited) must first of all obtain a permit from the Board authorising their entry. For your information, a map is enclosed showing details of the portion of the catchment area in which access is prohibited (shown by red tint) and the area in which entry is normally restricted to persons in possession of a permit from the Board (green tint); the area left untinted may be entered by members of the public without permit on any occasion.
In the case of members of Clubs affiliated with your Federation, the Board is however aware that such persons can be expected to be well versed in matters of bushcraft, hygiene, fire protection etc. and, on these grounds, it is prepared to allow parties from affiliated Clubs to enter the restricted zone shown in green tint without first having to obtain special permits. However, it is expected that the leader of any such party will carry with him, as it is understood is the general practice, a badge of membership or certificate etc. from either his Club or the Federation which need to be made available for perusal by Board's Ranger at any time if so desired.”
(It is understood that small copies of the map referred to will shortly be available to the public. If this rumour turns out to be false we will print a copy in the mag. Ed.)
Remember - March 20th. Members Slide Night. Members and prospectives are invited to show their latest slides on this night.
Letters To The Editor.
During the year, several Committee Members, aged 30 years or more, who participate actively in Club affairs, have been made vaguely aware that anybody over 30 years is regarded by many members under 30, as definitely ancient, irrespective of the amount of energy they possess. The January Committee Meeting was advised by an over 30, that those arbiters of ancient and modern human beings consider that Committee comprises too many ancients.
This situation is not entirely new and has occurred before. The Annual General Meeting is almost upon us. What a God-sent opportunity for the under 30's to come forward in numbers and take over some of the executive positions. All that is needed is tact, plenty of time and ability to do the numerous tasks promptly and efficiently, and of course, a modicum of common sense. The present committee will be delighted to hand over the reigns.
Let us have a bit of hot competition for executive positions as was the case 15 years ago, when some of the over 30's were under 30.
Poor domesticated Editor - Wahroonga wrapped. 25.11.62
What you missed to-day - the champ of all Sunday walks - for both quantity and quality. Frank Leyden's to Burning Palms via Lilyvale. A day with a gloomy start - but expanding into a day of sparkle, true bush conviviality. And - as I discovered at Central, it was an unprecedented assemblage of train-borne car owners - maybe this set the flavour for the day. For all - from eyeope to final ooray - were free from cartension orbiting along at 60 m.p. soaking in security. Imagine it - 30 odd! (not too) a blend of very young - and long time since - S.B.W. even one not too tottering octo.
The unflecked sky, bluer even than a certain O! how undulating girl filled costume. And all a sparkle, the ocean below - the glistening leaf multitude, and the sparkle of flowing stimulating chat and back chat of happy S.B.W. surfing and turfing.
And not one more caress could have been added to the soft zephyring sou-easter, or one more degree to the temp. or one more leaf above or underfoot. And best of all - attention ye tigers - hours and hours to trifle with, and luxuriously spend. A day of perfection.
Reticent as I am, I feel compelled to put pen to paper in protest against certain aspects of Eff See Wun's article in your February issue.
With three young sons around, Stan and I have always been careful, leastways, about the reading matter we allow in the house. The S.B.W. magazine has usually proved suitable enough, particularly as we would like the boys to be interested in the simple, natural pleasures.
But really, the observance of the basic rules of hygiene does not seem much to wish for, even among walkers. Fancy eating food ten pairs of strange hands have handled! And all eating out of one billy indeed! I can think of nothing more repugnant except perhaps a Leydon walk.
Anxious Eastwood Mother.
In reply to “Curious Headhunter”.
In his letter in the February magazine “Curious Headhunter” asks what has happened to the mainstay of the magazine - accounts of walks. Such articles were usually written not about the week-end official walks, but about long walks in new, difficult, or otherwise interesting country - a type of walking now almost a thing of the past. As C.H. is out of the country, he probably doesn't know what goes on here. There are two good reasons why long walks are seldom done now. These are:
- There is nowhere to walk. The best walks used to be done on old bush tracks, not far from Sydney. Nearly all these tracks are now converted into roads, or have become muddy fire trails which may run through catchment areas. I suspect that the authorities have simply taken Myles Dunphy's walking maps and run a bulldozer over all dotted routes. The only way to escape road walking is to get into the very rough country, or follow the streams - usually tough going, and few do it.
- Club members, like everyone else, prefer motoring to walking. Whereas a new road was once lamented, now it is considered to “save” a walk. And as roads take you almost everywhere, there is no need to walk to see the country.
Those few diehards, or young enthusiasts, who do still like walking, often have to motor a long distance to get beyond the bulldozers. They have to return to their cars, and the temptation to cut the circuit and shorten the walk becomes irresistible. The motor trips get longer and the walks shorter till it becomes just motoring. Camping may go on for a while, but it won't be long before ex-bushwalkers, like everyone else, take to motels.
1963 Annual Swimming Carnival.
Due to cool, overcast weather the attendance at this year's event - the twenty-fifth carnival - was a little disappointing, but nevertheless the races were contested with great enthusiasm with many close finishes. Many new faces were seen on the starting blocks for the first time and as a result some old stars' heads tumbled before this younger new blood. It is thought that the Christmas trip down the Kowmung River gave some an opportunity for a little quiet training:
Men's Open Championship
- Richard Plantinga
- Tony Queitzsch
- Lawrence Quakin
Ladies' Open Championship
- Sandra Bardwell
- Nanette Bourke
- Margaret Wilson
Men's Breastroke C'ship
- Lawrence Quakin
- Richard Plantinga
- Ross Wyborn
Ladies' Breaststroke C'ship
- Sandra Bardwell
- Nanette Burke
Mandelberg Cup Mixed Handicap
- Ross Wyborn and Nanette Bourke
- Tony Queitzsch and Sandra Bardwell
- Geoffrey Boxhal1 and Nancy Moppett
Underwater Swim - Men
- Richard Plantinga
- Lawrence Quakin
- Tony Queitzsch
Underwater Swim - Ladies
- Sandra Bardwell
- Nanette Bourke
Long Plunge - Men
- Bob Godfrey
- Lawrence Quakin
- D. Wyborn
Long Plunge - Ladies
- Sandra Bardwell
- Nanette Bourne
- Nancy Moppett
Henley Memorial Cup for Point Score
- Sandra Bardwell (to hold cup)
- Richard Plantinga
- Nanette Bourke
Minto - Bushwalkers' Basin - Georges River - Long Point - Ingleburn. 12 miles. Bushwalkers' Basin is one of the finest fresh water pools around Sydney. Some road walking and some scrub bashing is involved on this trip. Train: 8.25 a.m. Goulburn train from Central Steam Station. Tickets: Minto return @ 7/1. Map Camden Military. Leader: David Ingram.
Waterfall - Heathcote Creek - Henthcote. 8 miles. Excellent for new members. Passes through portion of the Heathcote Primitive Area, which is to be enlarged considerably in the near future. Good swimming pools along Heathcote Creek. Train: 8.50 a.m. Cronulla Train from Central Electric Station. Change at Sutherland for rail motor to Waterfall. Tickets: Waterfall return @ 6/. Map: Port Hacking Tourist or Camden Military. Leader: Grace Rigg.
Glenbrook - Glenbrook Gorge - Nepean Lookout - Euroka - Glenbrook. 12 miles. An opportunity to stretch the limbs before that Easter walk. The Gorge is rocky and the climb to Nepean Lookout is a scramble, then scratchy to Euroka. Train: 8.20 a.m Lithgow train from Central Station. Tickets: Glenbrook return at about 14/6. Map: Liverpool Military. Leader: Ern French.
I'm A Legend In my Lifetime.
I'm a Legend in my Lifetime:
I have walked from John O'Groats
To Land's End - and then across the States.
I'm a Legend in my Lifetime -
I have spurned all proffered totes
and WALKED - in Aussie too - in fact I'm what it takes.
I'm a Legend in my Lifetime
And yet and yet (I tell you true)
The Sydney Bushies, all save one,
Answered like the self-same PARROT
“What in Heaven's name are you?”
BEING a Legend in my Lifetime
I cannot take a gun
To any of that unperceptive crew
BUT, instead, I'll honour him who
Knew me for myself…. He'll get a CARROT!
“You will be pleased to know that my 8' long Golden Tan Tent is still performing well, it doesn't leak a drop. It has withstood all the sou'west has hurled at it.”
A couple of pats on the back from Bruce Davis of the Hobart Walking Club who has just returned from his 20th trip to the rugged southwest area of Tasmania.
We've always been enthusiastic about our Golden Tan lightweight japara for tents, it has so many good qualities that make it ideal for your purpose. Very fine weave, hard driven, lightweight and strong. It is cut and put together with great care using the best additional materials required in a fine tent.
You too will be pleased to own a tent like this. Order one soon,
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd.
201 Castlereagb Street, Sydney. 26-2685.
Easter very soon - repairs to equipment or special orders required now so that we may give you the service you deserve.
Ski hire bookings are now open.
The Kosciusko Primitive Area.
Walkers everywhere will note with satisfaction the recent proclamation of 70 square miles of the Kosciusko State Park as a primitive area.
This is the culmination of six year's representations from parties concerned for the preservation of this unique area. It is interesting to note that this is the first occasion on which scientists, in the interests of science, have acted in consort with the better known preservation bodies such as NPA and WLPS. While the latter two societies were interested in preserving this area in its natural state purely as a national heritage that future generations could enjoy, the Australian Academy of Science put forward the following further arguments in support of its retention as a primitive area.
- It is the only extensive Alpine area in the whole mainland continent of Australia, and no area in the whole continent more truly merits reservation.
- It includes, with a few miles of traverse, the highest mountains in the continent, with an unmatched altitudinal sequence from 1500 to 7300 feat.
- Within the area are well-defined moraines, cirques, polished pavements, glacial varves and a series of glacial lakes unique in the Australian mainland.
- It contains the best development of alpine flora of the mainland, including two plant communities not represented elsewhere, and several species not found elsewhere in the continent.
- It is watered by permanent Alpine streams, some containing the original flora and fauna as yet unaltered by the introduction of trout or by stream diversion.
In 1958 a submission was made to the Kosciusko State Park and the Federal Government in the above terms, recommending as strongly as was possible, the setting aside of the area shown in the map as a primitive area. Now four years later, this has finally borne fruit.
When, in 1944, the Kosciusko State Park Trust was constituted it was easy complacently to view the future of this alpine area, embracing 2100 square miles. The Trust, as a body of responsible citizens, would be charged with the development and protection of this area. Amongst the powers given then was the following -
“The Trust may retain as a primitive area such part of the Kosciusko State Park (not exceeding one tenth of the area of the Park) as it may think fit”.
[Map titled “Proposed Primitive Area in Kosciusko State Park.”]
In the ensuing 18 years the Trust has done an excellent job. (Your author, for example, has suffered the indignity of being instructed by a K.S.P.T. ranger to keep his camp-fire smaller in future as “bushfires are such a b—-y menace”.)
No one could have anticipated the rapid growth in popularity of skiing, and the Trust is to be congratulated for developing the facilities in the park in the way they have, encouraging the formation of clubs and restraining exploitation.
But it was a bitter pill for the nature lovers. Thredbo, Perisher and Smiggins were transformed into thriving communities where it was impossible to move more than a few yards without falling over a hut, outhouse or ski-tow.
The Trust, keeping in mind the greatest good for the greatest number, is now preparing plans for a massive parking area below the snow line with co-ordinated amenities including a ferry service to the ski lodgers. No one could cavil at this. It is what the public wants and the Trust serves the public. But the untamed areas are rapidly diminishing.
Then, of course, we have the spectacle of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority. With machine-age efficiency and ruthlessness they have invaded the Park, built roads, thrown up earthworks, dammed rivers and criss-crossed the countryside with tower lines. One could not defend a position opposing this. It is a scheme of urgent national importance and to their credit, the AuthoritY has been most concerned and active in causing as little damage as possible; in fact, re-afforestation and the prevention of erosion is an important part of their work. However, the following statement from the Authority would leave any primitive person cold - “Scenic value is largely a matter of opinion and in a number of countries, hydroelectric works of the type associated with the Snowy Mountains scheme are considered to add to the natural attractions.”
This was the setting for the battle of the “Primitive Area”. As well, of course, there were other bodies directly concerned with the area, these being The Department of Main Roads, The Soil Conservation Service, the Geehi Ski Club, and The Cooma Shire Council. Any public servant, past or present, would quail at the thought of trying to push a proposal through such an administrative labyrinth.
But success has been achieved and must greatly hearten all associated with the formulation of the proposal.
The aim of the scheme is to preserve a natural recreation and scientific area which will be used by skiers, fishermen, campers, walkers and tourists and yet will not be destroyed in the process.
The chairman of the Trust, Mr. Howard Stanley, is quoted as saying “We have no intention of keeping people out of the area; in fact, the Trust is anxious to attract increasing numbers of visitors. What we will do is prevent road and engineering works, building and other forms of commercial development which could interfere with the character of the area.”
The area has been designed to exclude most of the Snowy scheme and the ski centres, but be close enough to both to be easily accessible to visitors. The Superintendent of the Park, Neville Gare, says “The idea is that people can drive up to the primitive area or go up by chairlifts, and suddenly find themselves in another world.”
Those are admirable sentiments, and ones which can be received with a certain amount of confidence. Certainly, the Park Trust during its nineteen years of office has not betrayed the faith placed in it and there is every reason to believe that this Primitive Area will be supervised in a spirit in keeping with the motives of its protagonists.
Recently, in the last two weeks in fact, the Park Trust has twice demonstrated its firm resolve to abide by the principles of the Primitive Area.
On the first occasion, the Commissioner of the S.M.H.E.A. publicly criticised the Chairman of the Trust, Mr. K.C. Compton M.L.A. for their stand, as the Authority had planned to build a dam at Spencer's Cr. (which would flood part of the Area covering up some rare glacial striations) and a 6 mile aqueduct through the area. We all know what that would do to it.
Secondly, the Trust was attacked by the President of the Australian Alpine Club (according to the “Daily Telegraph”) for not permitting the re-building of Kuhama Lodge, destroyed some years ago by avalanche, in the upper area.
On both occasions the Trust has stood firm.
It is refreshing to see a body of citizens prepared to stand by their convictions despite pressure from outside. This club at its last General Meeting forwarded a letter to the Minister for Conservation applauding the creation of the Primitive Area.
But we can do more than this. Each one of us should write a letter to the Chairman, Kosciusko State Park Trust, Caltex House, Kent Street, Sydney, expressing appreciation of their stand in these matters. Not to do this will indicate a lethargy of which we are perhaps a little too apt to criticise the 'general public'.
And don't forget husbands and wives are individuals in their own right and can each write separately. By the end of next week Mr. Compton should have three hundred letters on his table.
The Life And Times Of Brian G.
History, someone said, is the extended shadow of a single man. The portly figure of Brian G. will cast an excellent shadow as the history of the magazine for he has been associated with it for most of the twenty six years it has been published in its present form. The masthead of the magazine has shown him to be Production Manager, Business Manager or Duplicator Operator for most of that time, though it doesn't mention such things as Interleaver, Collater, Stapler, Upwrapper and pacifier of Mrs. Bennet. He has done all these things with deceptive ease and in the case of Mrs. Bennet with an understanding and sympathy which is only normally found in Heads of Missions and their protocol clerks. (His language when directed towards an ailing Rotary Rapid was masterfully undiplomatic, his brogue deeper and richer than ever displayed to a more couth audience.)
The magazine has been extant since 1932 when it was punted commercially at irregular intervals; it took its present form in 1937 and such was the optimism of the pub1ishers that they had printed enough covers so that eleven years later the original printing was still enclosing the latest breathless reports of new country, new prospectives and old members. That first issue was duplicated by Brian in the home of Bill Mullins, whose name even yet sets many hearts aflutter. The paper was so organised that it reached the press with no cost to the club which is one of the most elaborate euphemisms I have encountered. Persons of less literary habits than Brian would say it was pinched.
A similar air of mystery hung over the paper I stood guard over in Crown Street one night. I had met Brian for a glass of beer on the regular night we went to press. In passing he mentioned some paper he had obtained at a reasonable price. Paper was then so highly prized that the method of obtaining it discussed earlier was quite out of the question. Brian had obtained by a stroke of business acumen of a rare degree two cases of the stuff. The only problem was how to get it to the club. After another beer I suggested a taxi. Brian gave it deep thought. Expensive things taxis. Carry it then. Too far. Tram. Wouldn't fit under the seat. Deadlock. Broken at six o'clock by the sadly taken decision that a taxi was inevitable, the taxi was procured. The cases themselves were not large as packing cases go. Miniature cars had not then been developed; someday a micro-sedan for the small family will appear which would live comfortably in such a case. Then a further crisis! Only one case would fit into the boot. Brian and the taxi departed. I was left to guard with my life this wonderful acquisition. Such is the loyalty the B.M. could inspire in his subordinates.
Vagaries of paper supply were only equalled in those times by the unreliability of the power. On nights when there was only an occasional flicker the magazine was collated by candlelight and hurricane lamp. The immense issue to mark the club's coming of age was interrupted by a two hour blackout when half the sheets had been laid out. A late summer thunderstorm threatened to blow the issue all over the Eastern suburbs, an irate B.M. swore horribly and two sleepy collators made their way past miles of trestles to sit in the romantic gloom and count the number of fire engines and ambulances going up Oxford Street.
Publication nights were shared with a St. John's Ambulance Brass Band. The conductor, though a dedicated musician, lacked the astringent wit of a Beecham or informative chatter of Bernard Hienze. Perhaps wit and a passion for tourniquets would be too much for the one body. Collating towards a crescendo is not to be recommended for an appreciation of music. In twenty six years the Magazine hasn't failed to appear, an effort which reflects vast credit on Brian. Editors have appeared and disappeared, often with mercurial brilliance. The flow of prose and poetry has been unpredictable and behind those tall trees we have had conservation, introspection and science naturally. Contributors have called Chardens Canyon Dantes Inferno, and the births, deaths and marriages of a generation have been recorded.
Recently a small party was given by ex-editors, collators, inter-leavers and assistants of all types to congratulate Brian on such a record and to mark his final and definite retirement as Business Manager. Speeches were made and glowing sentiments expressed. It was the end of a wonderful career.
The Car Trial.
Just for the record - we had a car trial last month. Organised by Bill Rodgers and Jack Gentle, it was a great success in spite of near century temperatures on the Sunday. Wallacia was the overnight stop where we had a camp fire which went with a swing, and then a very warm night for camping.
After solving lots of clues (the organisers thought the questions were easy, but the competitors had other views) the team comprising Lola Wedlock, Anne Harper and Kevin Ardill came up with the largest number of correct answers. Peter Reynolds and John Mulligan were next and Esme Biddulph and her team of girls (Miriam Steenbhom and Margaret Wilson) filled third place.
Postpone Dick Childs.
The walk for March 9.10 to Garie to be led by Dick has been postponed until March 23/4. Please discount any malicious tumours about the reason for this. It is simply because Dick wants to conserve his strength for the reunion.
[Cartoon of two aliens looking down on Earth]
“There is more than a passing probability, my dear Professor Hungvorgluck, that there are intelligent beings on that planet, but I doubt if they would have reached an intellectual maturity such as to produce great verse as Viffgung's immortal words -
“The moving finger glucks and having glud,
Moves on, nor all they Piety nor vlud
Shall lure it back to cancel half a qurym
Nor all they Tears wash out a word of ud.”
Of all the millions of millions of stars (i.e. suns) visible from Earth, it is estimated that a small percentage (i.e. a few million million) would have planets as our sun has. And further, that on a small percentage of these planets (i.e. a few million or so) life could exist, possibly advanced to a stage that would make our civilisation appear positively barbaric. Sobering, what?
Menura novae-hollandiae. (again)
Last January we started an article on Australia's lyre-bird, but shortage of space chopped us off before we'd really even gotten going.
Herewith the remainder of the good word on a fab. bird.
Systematists could not agree as to the Lyre-bird's place in their artificial schemes of classification, it being assigned to different positions by different authorities. It was long classed among the wrens, a fact which gave rise to some writer's statement that Australia possesses wrens as large as peacocks. That great ornithologist, Dr. Bowdler Sharpe, placed the two lyre birds in an order by themselves - Menuriformes.
This arrangement has met with the general approval of modern students of bird life: there may be a few dissentients. Professor Alfred Newton described the lyre-bird as 'the nearly sole survivor, apparently, of a very ancient race of beings.'
Until comparatively recent times, these Australian wonder birds aroused little interest except among ornithologists and nature lovers. They were not even protected by game law, and hundreds were shot for the sake of their splendid tails, which became fireplace screens or mantlepiece ornaments. At length a spark of public interest was fanned into flame by the Press of Sydney and Melbourne. Leading articles urged the claims of Menura to full protection, which came none too soon. But the birds had to wait longer for popular favour and a place among the living wonders of the world.
Victoria led the may. The late Tom Tregellas was the first naturalist to make a detailed study of the lyre-bird in its haunts, and to give lantern-talks about it. Then came Ray Littlejohns, who devoted week-ends throughout the nesting season year after year to observing the lyre-birds of Sherbrooke Forest, Victoria. Observation was combined with photography. A moving picture of a lyre-bird displaying was made, then a sound recording. Radio experts with Littlejohn's assistance, broadcast Menura's vocal performance from the heart of the Forest. The voice of the lyre-bird has been heard in Europe and America; its dance-display seen on the screen. Thus this prince of mocking-birds, with a wonderful tail has become famous. There are only two species of Menura: the superb lyre-bird (M. novae-hollandiae) and the Albert lyre-bird (M. Alberti.)
The former ranges from Victoria to southern Queensland; its ally, from the Macpherson Range, South Queensland, to the Richmond River district. Only the superb species has lyre-shaped tail feathers. In the Albert lyre-bird the two central feathers are longer than the outer ones which lack the semi-transparent bars present on the lyre-plumes of its ally. With very few exceptions, figures of the lyrebird show the tail carried upright and forming a conventional lyre. Actually the tail may sometimes be held nearly upright for a second or two, rarely longer; but in displaying, it is thrown forward over the bird's back and head, the lyre-plumes being depressed and carried outspread, like the filmy feathers which are constantly vibrated.
Usually while dancing on its mound, Menura mimics the songs and call notes of other birds, also man-made sounds which it has frequently heard - even the honking of a motor horn may be included in the repertoire.
The mounds - one bird may form several in his territory - are more or less circular, slightly elevated and measure a yard or so across. The mound is the lyre-bird's playground, not its nest. For a full description of the lyre-bird's nest see our May '62 issue.
The birds mate in May or June, and commence home-building without delay. Often a baby lyre-bird's nursery roof may be covered in snow. The lyre-bird lays one egg - about 2 1/2 inches long - purple-grey in colour with sepia markings. The egg takes about 7 weeks to hatch and the young stays in the nest for a further 6 or 7 weeks.
A radio station is being built in Britain to carry out experiments in satelite communications. It will be used for the reception and transmission of telephone, telegraph and television signals across the Atlantic. It will work with satelites launched by U.S N.A.S.A., known as the “Relay” and “Telstar” projects. These satelites have elliptical orbits with a maximum height of 3,000 miles inclined at 50º to the Equator.
The radio station will be equipped with an 85ft diameter aerial capable of being pointed and steered automatically and with great precision in the direction of the satelite.
There will be many technical, operation and economic questions to be studied before a commercial satelite communications system can be established.
Another Social Night to remember - March 27, Frank Leyden “Ski Mountaineering” Slides.
Hatswell's Taxi and Tourist Service.
For all your transport needs from Blackheath.
Ring, write, wire or all - any hour - day or night.
Phone: Blackheath W459 or W151. Booking Office: 4 doors from Gardiners Inn Hotel (look for the neon sign).
Speedy 6 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
Fares (Minimum 5 passengers): Kanangra Walls 30/- per head. Perry's Lookdown 4/- per head. Jenolan State Forest 20/- per head. Carlon's Farm 12/6 per head.
We will be pleased to quote trips or special parties on application.
Do you need new roof, guttering and downpipes??
Or does the roof and guttering need re-painting??
Or perhaps a new water service or hot water installation??
No job is too small. For any plumbing installation or alterations you need to call Roy's Friendly Plumbing Service.
Contact Roy Craggs in the S.B.W. clubrooms or contact Joe Craggs, Carpenter and Painter, 41 Rosamond Street, Hornsby, Telephone JU2203.
Remember - you need Roy's friendly service!!
Federation Report - January 1963.
Re-Enactment of the Crossing of the Blue Mountains
Will take place from 11th May to 31st May 1963. Federation has undertaken to provide 7 people to portray the principal parts. Paul Driver, President of Federation expects to take part and anyone interested should contact him urgently at JF5232.
Search and Rescue.
Two Senior Sea Scouts were reported overdue in the Grose Valley after setting out to cross it on December 29, 1962. A full scale search was organised on January 5-6, 1963, when 65 scouts and 73 bushwalkers turned out. The missing people were located on a ledge from which they could neither ascend or descend, near Arathusa Canyon by a party of locals at 4.30 p.m. on January 5. A loud hailer, which was found necessary as a result of this search will be purchased.
A map of all fire trails south of the railway across the Blue Mountains has been supplied to Federation.
Tracks and Access.
The track from Grassy Hill to Mt. Uraterer has been blazed roughly. More work is needed here. A fire road has been made from the Kanangra Rd. near Mt. Emperor to the Kowmung near Tuglow Caves and connects with the Tuglow Hole fire road.
National Parks Association.
The new reserve at Bungonia Gorge has been gazetted. The Kanangra-Boyd National Park proposal has been mapped and is with the Lands Dept. The retention of certain Travelling Stock Reserves (T.S.R.) and Public Watering Places (P.W.P.) as recreation and camping reserves is being urged. The Academy of Science, Canberra is to protest to the Snowy Mountains Authority against the construction of an acqueduct in the Lady Northcote Canyon, now part of the Koscuisko Primitive Area.
The position of Minute Secretary to Federation is still vacant. Are there any volunteers? The work is not arduous and Federation meets at 6.30 p.m. on third Tuesday of each month.
A committee of 8 was elected to organise the function which will be held at Euroka on March 30-31st. The Sydney Bushwalkers have volunteered to clean up the site after the reunion. Please assist.
Is to be revised and reissued by Federation.
We regret to learn that Clifford Ritson, who was President from April 1932 to March 1934, passed away during December last. The Club owes a great deal to its early executives, who did so much in putting down the solid foundations on which it stands today. Our debt is acknowledged with gratitude.